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Congential Heart Defect Screening Program

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View the heart defect screening program fact sheet »

Heart Defect Screening PicHelena Gardiner, M.D., co-director, Fetal Cardiology Program at the The Fetal Center at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital, recently launched phase one of the Congenital Heart Defect Screening Program. The Program is an active hands-on training and education outreach program aimed at improving the skills and confidence of ultrasound sonographers in the detection of major congenital heart defects (CHD) during pregnancy.

Phase one of the Program aims to train the team of sonographers affiliated with Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital and those located at the nine surrounding Memorial Hermann Health System community campuses. “We recognize that every sonographer is different. By spending time with sonographers and assessing their needs, we’re able to provide them with individual training to boost their confidence and improve their detection skills,” says Dr. Gardiner, “Fetal cardiology is a rapidly evolving field and with continuing advances in ultrasound technology and ongoing research, new discoveries are frequently found.”

The overall goal of the educational screening program is to improve the early detection rate of heart defects through education and training. As the confidence and detection skills of sonographers and technicians continue to improve, they can serve as mentors to others in their field, thus further emphasizing the importance of education and training.

Phase two of the Congenital Heart Defect Screening Program will include:

  • Hands-on training (provided by a trained TXTT sonographer) for ultrasound sonographers in the Houston area and surrounding communities
  • Continuing education opportunities, including in-person lectures, workshops and online courses

If you are interested in participating in an in-person training session, or for more information about the Program, contact Ian Averiss at 832.325.7288.

More About Congenital Heart Defects

A congenital heart defect (CHD) is an abnormality that is present at birth in any part of the heart. Major heart defects are those that require surgery before a child reaches the first birthday.

Congenital heart defects are:

  • The most common type of birth defect
  • The leading cause of infant deaths in the United States
  • Present in one out of every 125 babies born each year in the United States

Heart defect care algorithms: